5 Tips from an Expert on How to Organize a Stress-Free Move

5 Tips from an Expert on How to Organize a Stress-Free Move

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post by Sara Buckwalter from Organizing Boston about ways to organize your home and belongings prior to your move to minimize stress and optimize success. 

Moving is rated as one of the most stressful events in life, but it is possible to have a stress-free move! With careful planning and time to organize, the moving process can be smooth and easy.

Over the past 18 years, Organizing Boston has helped with hundreds of moves. We often get last-minute calls from overwhelmed clients who need help managing the process from start to finish. The one thing they always tell us is that they wish they had called us sooner! It is never too early to plan for a move – the time to start is now.

Here are five simple ways you can organize and plan for a smooth move:

1. Plan Ahead
Create a timeline for your move, including closing dates and other important events. Get the major logistics in place right away, including hiring and scheduling a moving company like Gentle Giant. Don’t forget to make arrangements for your pet(s) or children if necessary. When possible, try to plan your move for the middle of the month or the middle of the week when it’s less busy to save money.

2. Declutter
Don’t pack the clutter – purge the clutter! Moving is a great incentive to “clean house” and downsize. Narrow down your belongings first as a separate process from packing boxes. Make your move lighter by removing items you don’t love, need or use anymore. Separate your clutter into piles of donations, free-cycle, recycle, and junk items, and make plans to get those items out! Once the extraneous stuff has been identified, the packing will be much faster and easier.

3. Sell and Donate
Moving items you don’t want costs money. Sell unwanted furniture, household items and clothing either online or through consignment. Make regular donation drop-offs, or schedule a charity pick-up before your move.

4. Use It or Lose It
For consumables you don’t use regularly, institute a “use it or lose it” policy. This might include pantry items, toiletries, desk/office supplies and reading materials. If they do not get consumed or used before the move, then it’s not worth keeping them or moving them to your new home.

5. Pack Smart
If you are doing some or all of your own packing, be sure to label your boxes on all sides and be specific. Identify the room and contents for each box.  Use different colored labels for each room. Pack “open first” boxes with the essentials you will need right away: linens, towels, toothbrush and more.

While preparing for a move may not be fun, use it as an opportunity to review and purge what you own, so you’re only left with the items you really want and will enjoy in your new home. Happy organizing!


Sarah Buckwalter is a Certified Professional Organizer® with over 18 years of experience in home, move and office organization. She is the founder of Organizing Boston, the largest professional organizing firm in New England and the 2014 winner of Best of Boston Home™ and Best Professional Organizer.